Jan 052017
 

Pacific PonyCon 2017

Good evening everypony!

Tomorrow's the big day. Tomorrow, The Manehattan Project will do a live world premiere of the Prologue on Gardens of Equestria: This Coming Storm at Pacific PonyCon 2017 at 7:15 PM in the Guest Panel Room (Harborside Room).

We've been working around the clock (literally, since Little Tinker is in Australia, which is like +18 hours ahead of us) to get this ready for you. And we've done it. We've got one hell of a demonstration set up.

Because you're not just going to see another video folks. You're going to see me, Novel Idea, play the game live in front of the entire panel. What you'll be seeing in this panel is the actual game. You'll get to experience the quest design, the custom voiceovers, the new music, some of the weapons you've already enjoyed in Smuggler's Run, the branching dialogue choices and live combat with pieces of a reality that don't belong on earth! And trust me, they're hard to beat (I've actually allotted time for if I die during the fight. Ayep. Kept it that hard). But not only that...

You'll be seeing our opening cinematic. Built from the ground up for this game, this cinematic will finally reveal the grand adventure the players are about to embark on.

We've also had a few changes in our line-up for tomorrow. Sadly, Silver Chord won't be able to join us tomorrow (everything's fine, just real life got in the way). However, you'll still have Polyphonic, former Vocal Director and Voice Actress for Velvet Remedy, Candi and more, Ebon Quill, Quest Designer and our new Vocal Director, and of course, myself, Novel Idea, the Project Lead.

We'll be talking to you about how this all began, how voice acting really works in the gaming industry and an in-depth look at the story-building required for something as massive as GoE.

Finally, we have one enormous announcement that's exclusive to all attendees of our panel tomorrow. Yes, everyone else will find out next week. You won't want to miss this. This is one thing you probably didn't see coming.

GoE 3.0

You've probably noticed that things look quite a bit different around here! We've got a whole new setup, now featuring some of the coolest parts of GoE right here in once place. So, take a look around! We've got features on the bottom, a new logo up top (I'm still fiddling with that bit) and all sorts of other goodies.

In addition, I've also done a massive redux of many of the website pages throughout the site. There's still a bit of optimization to do, but I think you'll find exploring things much easier. Just a tip... check out the locations page!

Novel's Nook

For those who enjoy my stories, I'll also be attending all three days of the convention, so feel free to say hi and stop by the panel to see what this is all about! 

In the last couple of months, I've released several new stories. You can find them all at Novel's Nook, but here are some direct links for you at the bottom as well.

We'll see you next time!

-NI

 

Tactics of Snowbound Unicorns

Twilight’s got her nose stuck in a book. Sunset wants to go see the rest of their friends. As winter descends upon Canterlot, Sunset gets an idea. Things snowball from there.

The Alchemy of Chemistry

After a tutoring session gone wrong causes Moon Dancer to storm out on her, Sunset is forced into a decision she never wanted to make. Now with her future on the line, if her legacy doesn't get her expelled, the upcoming alchemy exam just might...

The Cloudsdale Report

After an entertaining evening meeting Sunset’s newest friend Twilight Sparkle, Princess Celestia seeks an old intelligence report that may hold a devastating secret from Equestria’s past that will forever change Equestria’s future.

Sep 292016
 

Happy Thursday everypony!

I know, I know. I missed last week's normal update. Sadly, I got hammered with a cold plus allergies. Nasty little bugger. Now, originally I was going to have a bit more for you this week, but the whole team's been beset by an attack of the dreaded REAL LIFE! Blue Nova, our Art Director, is actually getting married at the end of October, (YAY!) but that means he sadly has less time available for GoE arts. As for me, I'm finishing up the LOD generation on the New and Improved Appleloosa Valley! That means Level-of-Detail, which is pretty much everything you see at a distance. All games use technology like this. It's a lot of work, but it'll turn out awesome. 

Trust me!

But, I do have some goodies for you, including a Fallout: Equestria icon. Yes, folks. It is none other than our rendition of PINKIE PIE IS WATCHING YOU FOREVER Poster! The very first Ministry poster Littlepip comes across after leaving Stable 2!

pinkiewatching-lightdistressednonlightbox

Seriously, Blue Nova did an epic job on this. Down to the tiny print in the bottom right! How awesome is this! /squee!

But wait there's more!

As you know, we've also decided to redo all the magazines and books in Fallout: New Vegas to their proper Fallout: Equestria variants. Now, while Kkat did all of the books, our esteemed worldbuilder did not attack the magazines (because there are way too bloody many). However, Somber had 1.5 million words to play with and he did tackle the books! So we're taking a page from his book (yes, pun very much intended) with...the Canterlot Journal of Medicine!

canterlotjournalofmedicine

Damn, he's good. This one will be replacing "Today's Physician." It's it just lovely? 

That's the two major art reveals for this week, but I've got some non-GoE goodies to chat about.

As many of you know, I have recently embarked on a quest to prove to you all that I am indeed an author as I have claimed. And I am utterly delighted to say it looks like you folks believe me!

 

 

I'm utterly thrilled to report that both "The Application of Unified Harmony Magics" and "Grading on a Bell Curve" have been featured on Equestria Daily! Not only that, by my latest story, "Princess Celestia: A Brief History" was actually featured for a brief time in the Featured Box of FimFiction itself! /doublesquee

history-is-featured-on-fimfiction

To those of you who have read them and fired off a like or comment, thank you kindly! If you're interested in seeing just what madness goes on in my head, feel free to check them out. I recommend starting with "Applications." 

I have several more short stories/novellas planned and an enormous novel for NaNoWriMo set in this alternate timeline I'm calling the Wavelenths Timeline. You'll be hearing more about that soon. 

But that's it for this week. Thanks everypony and have a great day!

-Novel Idea

Jul 282016
 

Howdy folks!

Sorry about last week. Believe it or not, last Thursday I actually thought it was still Wednesday. Ever completely lose a day in a week? Seriously, I was really thrown off. Kinda scary.

So today I’ve got a little something extra for you.

Additions & Promotions!

But first, it’s time to unveil the newest member of the Manehattan Project!

BlurredTheLines – Quality Assurance Technician 

Hey there, I’m BlurredTheLines, I’ve been on this ride since October 2012. When I first joined this fandom, I was so in awe of all this fan-created content that I wanted to give something back. I threw myself into a number of pursuits, determined to find something I was good at. You name it, I tried it; drawing, writing, voice acting, vector art, animation, and so on. Though I didn’t really find anything I was good at until I tried vector art, but I did acquire some skills in the process. Since then, I’m always looking for ways I can contribute to the fandom.

But wait, there’s more! We’ve also got a consultant who’s joined the team in full! None other than the one behind the original remaster of the Fallout: Equestria audiobook by Crazed Rambling!

Sonic Radboom – Audio Post-Production Engineer

I started watching MLP: FIM during S1 hiatus but at the time was simply a fan of the show. I was, at the time, still working on releasing anime for people to download and watch. it wasn’t until S2 started and I found EQD and all the amazing things the brony fandom was creating that I would finally consider myself a brony. With my newfound passion, I couldn’t just sit back and take in the epic content being generated, I needed to give something back!

I started by tweaking and adjusting my own personal collection of MLP Audiobooks, but then I started the original remaster of Fallout: Equestria by Crazed Rambling. Eventually, this was picked up by the Manehattan Project as a base for their “Manehattan Edition” of the audiobook. This led to me joining Manehattan, first as a consultant and now on staff in charge of audio post-production.

And finally, I am happy to announce a promotion on the team!

Ebon Quill Quest Designer & Worldbuilding Writer

Ebon’s been hard at work going through the entire script of “This Coming Storm,” including every line of the 80,000 words of dialogue I wrote. With a long background of D&D Game Master experience and his own formidable writing chops, he’s offered to lend his considerable talents to making “This Coming Storm” the story-driven experience you deserve. The best part about Ebon is that his writing style is radically different from mine, so he’ll be able to see things I would have totally missed. In fact, I’ve already spoken to him about helping me to write the story for GoE 2!

Change in Blogging Frequency

A bit of housekeeping. Originally, I had intended to make this a weekly update and that’s slowly drifted to a bi-weekly update. However, since we’re at the point where we don’t have a great deal to show you that’s new, we’re going to be shifting to a monthly update. Less frequency, but hopefully with more content! However, I reserve the right to throw out special posts, so keep a weather eye out.

A Bit From Novel

The Application of Unified Harmony Magics V3

My turn! I’m happy to announce my first MLP short story is now available for your reading enjoyment! You can find it here on FiMFiction. Not only that, but I’ve created a custom .EPUB for you to enjoy as well. You’ll find that below.

But as usual, there’s more. I decided to take a little corner of GoE.com for myself. Why? Because I built this site from the ground up, that’s why! And because I can. Mostly that. So now, you can head over to Novel’s Nook (it’s clever, shut up) any time you want.

There you’ll find all manner of things, including my own latest short stories and my upcoming MLP novel, as well as my various rambling follow-ups on some of the best of FiMFiction in the world, stuff that any fan of MLP should enjoy.

Anyone who’s read Fallout: Equestria should love the Hard Reset trilogy. You’ll find my follow-up on the Nook, as well as my massive gallery of cover designs (24 authors are now using them!) and a few more random things.

I also have a new short story coming out soon as well. Don’t worry, I’m still working plenty on GoE (my refinements to Appleloosa Valley are simply massive. I’m literally created entire new mountain ranges and redone entire zones.) but writing will always remain my greatest passion.

(And Sunset Shimmer ties with Twilight for best pony. Sorry kids. It’s a fact. Accept it.)

That’s all for this week folks! Have a great day and we’ll see you soon!

Sunset Nothing Productive

-Novel

May 122016
 

Good afternoon folks.

Novel Idea here. I’ve got something a little different in store for you today. As you all know, last week was our One Year Anniversary Celebration. There are actually a couple things we still have in the works for that but weren’t quite ready and still aren’t as of yet, but when they are, you’ll know. Oh boy, you’ll know.

Originally, this post was going to be about some art stuff, but I’ve decided to change things up. You see, last night, I happened to have just finished Fallout: Equestria Pinkeyes. Yes, yes, I know all of you read that like years ago. But I’m just now getting into the FiMFiction world in the last couple of months. I hadn’t.

So, this post is going to be some reflections about the concept of Fallout: Equestria including complete and total spoilers for Pinkeyes. So if you haven’t read Pinkeyes, stop reading this instant. Seriously. Bugger off and read the damn story. Then come back.

However, if this isn’t your cup of tea, don’t worry, we’ll have more GoE-focused stuff for you next week.


It’s no secret that Kkat, the original author of Fallout: Equestria, is quite the fan of Babylon 5, a science fiction series by J. Michael Straczynski (Or JMS). It’s also no secret that I am as well. Babylon 5 is my favorite science fiction series of all time. Kkat has spoken at length about the influence of Babylon 5 on Fallout: Equestria in blogs, so I won’t go into depth.

The reason I’m bringing this up is because of one of the very last lines of Babylon 5’s penultimate finale, “Sleeping in Light.” Narrated by Susan Ivanova (played by Claudia Christian), it is a wonderful summary of the enormous story arc of Babylon 5 without spoiling anything.

Babylon 5 was the last of the Babylon stations.
There would never be another.
It changed the future, and it changed us.
It taught us that we have to create the future or others will do it for us.
It showed us that we have to care for one another because if we don’t, who will? And that true strength sometimes comes from the most unlikely places.
Mostly, though, I think it gave us hope that there can always be new beginnings.
Even for people like us.

When one reads Fallout: Equestria, its clear that these thoughts and ideals echo strongly throughout the arc of Littlepip’s life. But more than anything I’ve always believed that the true message of Fallout: Equestria is summed up in those last two lines:

Mostly, though, I think it gave us hope that there can always be new beginnings.
Even for people like us.

Fallout: Equestria is about hope. Hope in a better tomorrow. That tomorrow will be a better day. That tomorrow will be a new beginning. There’s a reason Nicholas Dominique’s fantastic music number inspired by Littlepip is named Hope (and a reason we used it for the GoE Teaser Trailer). There’s a reason that the final lines of the Epilogue are Applejack and Steelhooves’s song and that song ends like this:

“For I know tomorrow will be a better day.
Yes, I believe tomorrow can be a better day…”

If you’ve read Fallout: Equestria, I’m sure you can see the same thing. I don’t need to prove this to you.

I’ve read a few stories set in the Fallout: Equestria universe now. Some didn’t end with this message. Some I think were poisoned by the Wasteland. Some…just wanted to go in another direction. And you walk away with the story feeling wronged somewhat.

And then? Some managed to hit that note of hope with such perfection that the experience becomes a masterpiece.

763676__safe_solo_oc_magic_cloud_fallout+equestria_rock_saddle+bag_mountain_road

Fallout Equestria: Pinkeyes is one such tale.

If you happened to have come across any of my commentaries I’ve been putting up on FiMFiction, you should know that I tend to get deeply into stories. Events within stories that I’m emotionally invested in can be like a buck to the face (with radishes). Mass Effect was like this for me. Frankly, the end of Mass Effect 3 had me reeling for weeks, a complete emotional wreck.

Well, as I finished Pinkeyes last night, I’m still dealing with that. That’s one of the reasons for this post, because it’s a way to help me work it out.

The ending of Pinkeyes is simply beautiful. It is a rare thing for a ending to hit such a perfect chord with me. Yes, bawled my eyes out, but they weren’t ones of sadness. They were tears of joy.

puppysmiles_by_vector_brony-d7vfipe

We’ve all seen the “feels” meme. Personally, I think the reason it’s a meme is because people are trying to “hide” from the idea of showing their emotions. This is especially big in the male aspect of the community, because though we’re bucking the social norms by accepting MLP as part of our lives, we still often struggle with the concepts of how a male should act, one of which is being stoic and ‘strong.’ (The opposite idea that females are overly emotional is just as flawed, by the way).

I don’t like that meme. I am deeply and profoundly impacted emotionally by the stories I experience in fiction, be it in movies, television shows, video games or books. I cry at the end of ‘Sleeping in Light,’ so much so that I have to mentally prepare myself for the series finale. “Crusaders of the Lost Mark,” where the CMC finally get their marks after five years…yeah, I tend to cry for half the damn episode.

But back to Pinkeyes. Pinkeyes ends with the classic “gathering of heroes,” something I’ve always enjoyed. Where the allies and friends of the hero come together for the grand finale. We see this in Spike’s Cave near the end of Fallout: Equestria. Project Horizons had two of these events, I think. But because of Pinkeyes’s much smaller scope, this felt so much intimate. We only had a handful of ponies ready to face the darkness that stood at the end of the road, following a tiny spot of color and joy.

I didn’t know what to expect when I got to the ending. Who would live and who would die? I’ve seen endings where it felt like the author just decided to whack off characters at random. I kinda feel like the end of Harry Potter was a bit like that and I would almost accuse Sanderson of the same thing in the second Mistborn novel. But every fall meant something. Each was addressed and the best part was that in the end…it actually didn’t matter. Because we found out where they were all going.

Believe it or not, I had managed to avoid all spoilers for the story. Henri’s act of “saving” Puppy was fantastic and surprising…but even more so because shortly afterwards we learn the truth of why she did it. More importantly, she learned why she did it. Because she cared way more than she even thought she did. And it took a ghost to get that through her skull.

When Henri found that box, seriously, the tears wouldn’t stop. And when she finally got through to Puppy…yeah. It was a thing of beauty. The emotional sucker punch was the “sister” bit at the very end of the scene there. That just opened the floodgates. Hell, I can’t even think of that scene without tearing up. Even the last line at the end of Chapter 20 before the Afterword…every time I read it, I still tear up.

But the most gorgeous part of the story was the Afterword. Watcher’s short little story telling the tale of Puppy, what he thought she meant to the people of the 52 (something I wholeheartedly agree with)…and then the airship scene. I remember being rather confused as to what was going on until it finally sunk in.

It’s rare for stories to end with a perfect “happily ever after.” Even though Pinkeyes never used that trite cliché, that’s exactly what we got. We got Shower and Gauss together again (I’m a romantic. Sush.)…but those who have read it know how it ends.

It ends with a better day. It ends with a perfect day. It ends with a perfect day that will never end.

I’ve only seen one other author handle the death of the main character in such an expert way and that was Brandon Sanderson, where I can walk away from the story sad but still overflowing with joy.

(And can I just take an aside and say I did a total SQUEE SQUEE SQUEE moment at Trigger Happy’s line: “Am I still in time to say that I love you too?” That whole arc was awesome! Shut up. I’m said I was a romantic!)

863781__safe_solo_oc_oc+only_fallout+equestria_artist-colon-jetwave_oc-colon-puppysmiles

So enough about tears. What does this have to do with hope?

Puppysmiles was a living avatar of hope. Like Watcher said, she was a picture into what Equestria had been and what we know Equestria would eventually be again. In her, we saw the hope for the future even while shining a light on everything that had been lost. Littlepip became a beacon of hope that ponies could get past the poison of the Wasteland and actually bind together to make a difference.

Littlepip screwed up a lot. She made a ton of mistakes. That’s one of the things that made her relatable. Puppysmiles approached everything with pure innocence and a wonderful childlike ability to ignore the harsh realities of life and find every single bright spot out there. That’s what made her lovable.

They were both inspirations. They both gave those around them hope for a better tomorrow.

In our world, we’re constantly bombarded by horrors and atrocities. Terrorist attacks, natural disasters, wars, fear, death and suffering. If you watch the news, it can be easy to start to believe we live in a world of hatred, not too dissimilar from the attitudes of those living in the Equestrian Wasteland. Yes, I know there are plenty of differences. But there are some striking similarities.

But here’s the thing: stories like this show us that we can be better. We can do better than what we’re doing now. It won’t be easy. In fact, it’ll be damn hard. And this side of heaven, there will always be a darkness around us. There will always be a “Creepy Voice” in our heads, offering the lie of rest while they take over and force you to give into the darkness. While we may not try to rule the world, there’s a piece of us that wants return hatred with hatred or even worse, to stop caring entirely.

It’s natural, but it’s also wrong.

Call me foolishly optimistic if you’d like, but one of the things that attracts me to MLP is the idea that love and friendship are actual forces, as powerful as gravity. They are in this world as well, if people choose to believe in them.

If they find hope that tomorrow can be a better day.

In the end, hope is the most powerful of motivators. Hope for love, hope for friendship, hope for kindness, hope for peace and even hope for eternity.

We all need hope. Without it, the darkness will overwhelm us. But with it, we can get to the end of the road. We can fight the good fight. We can finish the race.

After all, “…these three remain: faith, hope and love.” (1 Cor 13:13) And while the greatest of these may be love, hope is still there.

To be honest, I’m not quite sure how to end this. More than anything, if you have read Fallout: Equestria, Fallout: Equestria – Pinkeyes is simply a must read. And I do intend to find some way to weave at least pieces of Pinkeyes into the storyline of GoE 2. Maybe Trigger Happy and Jammed Gun might make an appearance. 😉

So here are a few links.

First of all, Zemming & Djazz did an excellent job with the .EPUB version of Pinkeyes. You can check it out here.

If you’re looking for the original article, head on over to FiMFiction’s page.

So, I think I’ll end this simply, with a round of applause for another epic masterpiece created by this amazing fandom, penned by mimezinga.

Well done. Well done, indeed.

Mar 032016
 

Happy Thursday folks!

Not much going on today in regard to GoE, at least not much I can talk about. We’ve got a few really cool new things planned for next week or maybe the week after. But they’re surprises, so I’m not sharing! Yet!

I hope you’ve all been enjoying the YouTube version of Fallout: Equestria (The Manehattan Edition). Can you believe we’re already up to Chapter 34?

Ever since I set that alarm on my iPhone, I’ve been much better at getting those out consistently. The only time I slipped up I blame entirely on Twilight Sparkle’s Secret Shipfic Folder.

Yeah, I became somewhat addicted to this game after trying it out with my wife. My friend got a new set back after EquestriaLA, but a friend of mine gave me a core deck way back when. I don’t even remember how long ago it was. But considering is a 1.0.3 deck and the last deck they released was 1.1.5, probably pretty old. ^^

Well, I decided to order a Fallout: Equestria pack from Boiler3 (which I highly recommend) and afterwards, went through the TSSSF’s guide on how to print my own deck, as I wanted the rest of the expansions. Printer Studio did a fantastic job on the set I ordered, including a slew of customs…and…

A finished version of the WIP “A Panel of Ponies!” Now, since this is a development blog for GoE, I’m not going to post them all here. For that, you’ll want to head over to my deviantArt page. However, I will post a couple! Specifically the ones designed from Pixelkitties’ artwork (who was quite ecstatic about the cards, I’m happy to say).

So before we get to the mane event, have some fun!

tsssf___banished_to_another_dimension_ship_card_by_mlp_novelidea-d9trz0f

tsssf___cross_country_road_trip_ship_card_by_mlp_novelidea-d9trxrhAnd yes, I know “Banished to Another Dimension” should be about Starswirl kicking the Siren’s tails to the EqG world and “Cross-Country Road Trip” should be Applejack and Rarity on a train, but I don’t care. The pictures were too perfect not to use!

Okay. Now, let’s talk Littlepip.

Specifically. my new Littlepip!

I commissioned this gorgeous custom Funko from the one and only PrincessGryph! Now, I’ll admit there was a bit of a delay in getting her, but it doesn’t matter, because she was well worth the wait. I absolutely adore her, from the PipBuck down to the tiny version of Little Macintosh. The detail on the armored barding is pure genius.

I love the Funko series, having the entire Mane 6, Derpy and Trixie (I can’t afford to get all of them :P). Now that Littlepip has joined the cast, she’s a good reminder to keep working on GoE on rough days. 😉

She’s available for commissions, so I highly recommend her. You can even keep track of where your commission is on her Trello board! (Which is actually what we use for task management here at Manehattan). She does all sorts of crazy stuff. And if Funko doesn’t get on it sometime soon, I’m ordering a Sunset Shimmer from her!  (Come on Funko!)

Anyway, I know this post has a fair bit of fluff, but I’m also deep into the construction of the Rock Farm’s massive Manufactory (which ended up coming out better than I expected) and finalizing the Primm Basement. We’ve also wrapped on several of our voice overs and we’ve got a new scripting technique in place that will hopefully make things run smoother and faster.

Anyway, that’s it for this week. If you’re interested in seeing the rest of the “Panel of Ponies” official MLP-based comic expansion for TSSSF, you’ll want to head over to my dA. As for the rest, we’ve always got something fun planned. So we’ll see you next week!

-Novel Idea